Gifts for Mom, Grandparents, Besties and YOU🎄 ➔

Dear Mom,

You’ve been my #1 fan my whole life.

You were my fan even before I was born, even while I was making you so sick. I brought you misery for nine solid months but you’ve never held it against me, and have only made me feel like I was somehow worth all that agony.

You founded and presided over my fan club. You preside over it still.

You are the fan who always believes in me even when I doubt myself.

You are the fan who always thinks the best of me, even when I think the worst of myself.

You are the fan who’s always sure I can do something even when I’m sure I can’t.

You are the fan who sees in my grown-up self the same kind of hope and possibility you saw when I was a newborn in your arms.

You are the fan who always wants to hear from me when anything—good, bad, or otherwise—happens.

You are the fan who sees what I love and wants it for me.

You are the fan who says, “I never get to see you!” even though you saw me less than a week ago.

You are the fan who always has a collection going for me: magazine articles you think I’d like to read, coupons you won’t use but think I might, the last little bit of a jar of honey you threw in after I casually mentioned I was running low on it.

You are the fan I know I can share good but possibly braggy-sounding news with . . . the fan who never thinks I’m actually bragging but only telling you something you want to know about, down to the last detail.

You are the fan who celebrates the most minor of accomplishments or victories with me.

You are the fan who puts me on speaker when I call “so your father can hear, too” as if I’m about to deliver a Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech instead of a recitation of our family’s weekly schedule.

You are the fan who tells me I’m an amazing mom even when I feel like the worst mom in the world.

You are the fan who “loves” and comments on all my online posts . . . and then messages me to ask for the whole backstory on them.

You are the fan who always thinks I’m the best person for the job . . . but who also tells me I don’t always have to be the person to do the job.

You are the fan who brags about me to your friends when you’re all swapping “let me tell you about my adult child” stories.

You are the fan who looks out for me and still gets riled up when you think someone is messing with your baby.

You are the fan who has my back.

You are the fan who is on my side and in my corner.

You are the fan who will tell anyone who will listen, “That’s my daughter.”

You are my fan whether I’m winning or losing. Your loyalty to me isn’t based on what I do—it’s based on who I am to you.

If you had a motto as my #1 fan, it would be this message you sent me the other day: “Fully behind you and cheering you on.”

You’ll say, of course, that this is what moms do, but the truth is not all moms do this. There are moms reading this who wish they’d had a fan like you in their own mothers. There are moms reading this who are trying to be a fan like you to their own children.

I know I’ll never be able to thank you enough for being my biggest fan. But I’ll start here: I’ll do what you did. I’ll do what you’re still doing. I’ll be your grandchildren’s biggest fan for life. I’ll cheer for them. I’ll believe in them. I’ll think the best of them. I’ll see what’s possible for them.

And I’ll remain, always and with love, one of your biggest fans.

You may also like:

To My Mom: I Get It Now

Dear Mom, I’ve Never Wondered About Your Love

Dear Mom, I Didn’t Know How Much I Was a Piece of Your Heart Until My Babies Took a Piece of Mine

If you liked this, you'll love our new book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available for pre-order now!

Pre-Order Now

Elizabeth Spencer

Elizabeth Spencer is mom to two daughters (one teen and one young adult) who regularly dispense love, affection, and brutally honest fashion advice. She writes about faith, food, and family (with some occasional funny thrown in) at Guilty Chocoholic Mama and avoids working on her 100-year-old farmhouse by spending time on Facebook and Twitter.

When Mom Died, We Had Tea

In: Grief, Grown Children, Living
Table set as a tea party with framed picture of a woman, color photo

My mom was never, ever without a cup of Lipton’s tea. Like a dear friend, it held her hand, kept her warm, provided comfort. She boiled water in her navy-speckled kettle, then poured it into a cup and, completely ignoring the recommended four-minute steep instructions, immediately lifted it to her lips. It always mystified me how her mouth didn’t suffer third-degree burns. Mom’s penchant for thriftiness compelled her to use the same tea bag multiple times; only when it disintegrated and leaf particles floated to the surface did she accept defeat and reach for a fresh yellow packet. RELATED: Moments...

Keep Reading

My Mother Raised Me To Go On Without Her

In: Grief, Grown Children
Mother and grown daughter smiling in selfie

“The kids are spending the night at Grandma’s, and I’m eyeballs deep in Fritos while catching up on all my trash TV shows.” “I had to rush my son to urgent care, but thankfully my mom was able to stay with the three other kiddos while I took care of him.”  “I feel so lost when it comes to homeschooling; thankfully, my mom did it too, so she’s been an amazing guide to have.” To most people, these sentences might seem like wonderful, blessed bits of praise from a daughter about her mother, but to me, they’re like daggers straight...

Keep Reading

My Toxic Father Does Not Define Me

In: Grown Children, Living
Woman with hair blowing in wind

I don’t have a father, and it’s completely fine. It really, really is.  It’s taken me 40 years to say it because it just doesn’t sound right . . . but it is the honest truth and embracing it, finally, has been liberating.  No, he hasn’t passed away. No, I am not adopted. No, he did not abandon us—he was there all the time, unfortunately. Nevertheless, he was never a “father” to me in any positive form, and from the time I left for college, I effectively fled him and never turned back. Without going into too much upsetting detail, I...

Keep Reading

Where Have All the Puppet Shows Gone?

In: Grown Children, Motherhood
Two children behind blanket with puppets, color photo

I remember the puppet shows so vividly.  The stage curtain was always the same old, red-checked, woolen blanket strung roughly between two chairs and tied off with rope.  As their mama, I was of course their captive audience of one. Cheering and clapping enthusiastically after each performance. The plays always felt like they were a little too long, perhaps deliberately dragged out toward the final act, just to keep my attention.  At the time, I mistakenly thought those cute, slightly annoying puppet shows would last forever.  Fast forward 25 years and those puppet shows have well and truly gone. There are...

Keep Reading

It’s Her Time To Fly

In: Grown Children, Motherhood, Teen
Woman staring out at lake, color photo

Memory ghosts dance in the periphery of my mind. Even though three weeks have passed since I dropped her off—my baby, the youngest of my children—two states and 400 miles away, I still find myself thinking and worrying and remembering and questioning. Rinse and repeat, rinse and repeat.  On that last day, we’d gotten up early and grabbed coffee and road snacks. She drove us, just she and I and her old Ford Bronco on the open road. The wind whistled through rattling windows—old rigs are so loud. The totes packed in the back filled in a void of words...

Keep Reading

Publix Holiday Ad Nails It: You Never Outgrow Needing Your Mom

In: Grown Children, Living, Motherhood
Publix ad showing daughter on video call with her mom

The first time I ever cooked Thanksgiving dinner on my own, my mom was several hundred miles away. I was a brand new wife, preparing turkey and all the trimmings for my in-laws in a tiny one-bedroom apartment (what was I thinking?!)—and I must have called my mom a dozen times that day.  How many hours does this bird need to thaw? Are yams and sweet potatoes the same thing? What on earth is a roux?  RELATED: What the Thanksgiving Dish You’re Bringing This Year Says About You Even as a twentysomething, full-grown, married woman, I needed my mom.  The...

Keep Reading

Being a Mom of Grown Children Is Beautiful Too

In: Grown Children, Motherhood
Mother and grown daughter smiling outside

I have always been one of those people who want to do something: take a class in documentary filmmaking, make more time for my husband and me, take an exotic vacation—the list goes on and on. My mind is filled with ideas I put on the back burner of my life, intending to do it next month, next year, when I have time, etc., etc., ad nauseum. It was a chance remark made by a friend that helped me realize how I was wasting precious time by putting things off. I was talking about wanting to go to France but,...

Keep Reading

One Day I’ll Wish I Could Hear Their Voices Again, So I’m Saving Messages From My Parents

In: Grown Children, Living
Older couple in kitchen smiling

I have about 40 or more saved voicemail messages in my phone from my mom and dad, (mostly my mom since she calls me more often).  I started doing this last year.  I didn’t realize what I was doing at the time, I just stopped deleting their messages.   And then when my voicemail box was full and I strategically deleted all messages except those from my mom and dad, it hit me what I was doing.  Part of me is preparing for the day they are no longer here to leave me voicemail messages.   Because as your parents approach 80,...

Keep Reading

God Gave Me Babies Who Grew Up

In: Grown Children, Motherhood
Mother and grown daughter touch foreheads

Tapping the “off” button on my iPhone, I ended the FaceTime with my daughter. Smiling to myself, I reflected on how fast the years passed. A successful ballerina, my daughter lives in New York, is beautiful and independent, and exactly what my husband and I had hoped for. And I miss her horribly. Our son, a successful digital artist, lives nearby with his lovely wife, and I am grateful. As they were growing up, I made a point of celebrating the small moments—the quick giggles when I tickled ribs, and the colorful, sometimes incomprehensible pictures on the refrigerator. God gave...

Keep Reading

6 Simple Words Mom Says That Mean Everything

In: Grown Children, Motherhood
Two women smiling, black-and-white photo

What makes a great mom? Many things. But the ability to say these six, simple, beautiful words is definitely part of it.  I’ve been working on myself for a very long time now, and it’s no easy task. Uncovering, processing, and working through old wounds and very tender emotions—ones that were never truly expressed or felt in the way they needed to be at the time—has been extremely difficult.  RELATED: Sometimes I Hate My Past At times, it’s been too hard—too hard to dig it all up and relive and re-feel it all, and I’ve just wanted to give up....

Keep Reading